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You have converted me, Clarinda. I occasion to break with me, don't send them, shall love that name while I live: there is I have a little infirmity in my disposition, heavenly music in it. Booth and Amelia Ithat where I fondly love, or highly esteem, know well. (61) Your sentiments on that I cannot bear reproach. subject, as they are on every subject, are Reverence thyself” is a sacred maxim, just and noble. “To be feelingly alive to and I wish to cherish it. I think I told you kindness and to unkindness,” is a charming Lord Bolingbroke's saying, to female character.
Adieu, dear Swift, with all thy faults I love What I said in my last letter, the powers thee entirely; make an effort to love me of fuddling sociality only know for me. By with all mine." A glorious sentiment, and yours, I understand my good star has been without which there can be no friendship! partly in my horizon, when I got wild in my. I do highly, very highly esteem you indeed, reveries. Had that evil planet, which has Clarinda--you merit it all! Pernaps, tooalmost all my life shed its baneful rays on I scorn dissimulation! I could fondly love my devoted head, been, as usual, in my you: judge then, what a maddening sting zenith, I had certainly blabbed something your reproach would be. "O! I have sins that would have pointed out to you the dear to Heaven, but none to you !"—With what object of my tenderest friendship, and, in pleasure would I meet you to-day, but I spite of me, something more. Had that cannot walk to meet the fly. I hope to be fatal information escaped me, and it was able to see you on foot about the middle of merely chance, or kind stars, that it did not, | next week. I had been undone! You would never have I am interrupted-perhaps you are not written me, except perhaps once more! O, sorry for it, you will tell me—but I won't I could curse circumstances, and the coarse anticipate blame. O, Clarinda! did you tie of human laws, which keep fast what know how dear to me is your look of kind. common sense would loose, and which bars ness, your smile of approbation! you would that happiness itself cannot give-happiness not, either in prose or verse, risk a censowhich otherwise Love and Honour would rious remark. warrant! But hold-I shall make no more hair breadth 'scapes.'
“Curst be the verse, low well soe'er it flow, My friendship, Clarinda, is a life-rent
Thrit tends to make one worthy man my business. My likings are both strong and
SYLVANDER. eternal. I told you I had but one male friend: I have but two female. I should have a third, but she is surrounded by the blandishments of flattery and courtship * * * I register in my heart's core_* *** Miss N can tell how divine she is. She is worthy of a place in the same bosom with
TO MRS. DUNLOP. my Clarinda. That is the highest compliment I can pay her.
Edinburgh, January 21st, 1788. Farewell, Clarinda! Remember
AFTER six weeks' confinement I am beSYLVANDER ginning to walk across the room. They
have been six horrible weeks; anguish and low spirits made me unfit to read, write, or think.
I have a hundred times wished that one
could resign life as an officer resigns a comTO THE SAME.
mission: for I would not take in any poor,
ignorant wretch, by selling out. Lately I Saturday Morning, January 19th, 1788.
was a sixpenny private, and, God knows, a Your thoughts on religion, Clarinda, miserable soldier enough; now I march to shall be welcome. You may perhaps distrust the campaign, a starving cadet---a little more me, when I say 'tis also my favourite topic; conspicuously wretched. . but mine is the religion of the bosom. I
I am ashamed of all this; for though I do hate the very idea of a controversial divinity; want bravery for the warfare of life, I could as I firmly believe that every honest upright wish, like some other soldiers, to have as man, of whatever sect, will be accepted of much fortitude or cunning as to dissemble or the Deity. If your verses, as you seem to conceal my cowardice. hint, contain censure, except you want au As soon as I can bear the journey, which
will be, I suppose, abont the middle of next of ideas, my sentiments of love and friendweek, I leave Edinburgh; and soon after I ship, I next devote myself to you. Yesterday shall pay my grateful duty at Dunlop-Hlouse. night I was happy-happiness “ that the
R. B. world cannot give.”—I kindle at the recol
lection; but it is a flame where innocence looks smiling on, and honour stands by a sacred guard.—Your heart, your fondest
wishes, your dearest thoughts, these are TO CLARINDA.
yours to bestow : your person is unapproach
able by the laws of your country; and he Tuesday Morning, January 29th, 1788. loves not as I do who would make you mise
rable. I CANNOT go out to-day, my dearest Cla
You are an angel, Clarinda; you are rinda, without sending you half a line, by way of a sin-offering ; but, believe me, 'twas surely no mortal that “the earth owns.” the sin of ignorance. Could you think that
To kiss your hand, to live on your smile, is I intended to hurt you by any thing I said
to me far more exquisite bliss that the dear
est favours that the fairest of the sex, youryesternight ? Nature has been too kind to you for your happiness, your delicacy, your
self excepted, can bestow. sensibility.-0 why should such glorious
Sunday Evening. qualifications be the fruitful source of woe! You have “murdered sleep” to me last night. You are the constant companion of my I went to bed, impressed with an idea that thoughts. How wretched is the condition you were unhappy: and every time I closed of one who is haunted with conscious guilt, my eyes, busy Fancy painted you in such and trembliny under the idea of dreaded
of romantic misery that I would vengeance! and what a placid calm, what a almost be persuaded you were not well this charming secret enjoyment it gives, to bosom morning.
the kind feelings of friendship, and the fond
throes of love! --" If I unwittingly have offended,
Out upon the tempest of Impute it not."
anger, the acrimonious gall of fretiul impaBut while we live,
tience, the sullen frost of louring resentment, But one short hour, perhaps, between us two
or the corroding poison of withered envy! Let there be peace.”
They eat up the immortal part of man! If
they spent their fury only on the unfortunate If Mary is not gone by the time this objects of them, it would be something in their reaches you, give her my best compliments. favour: but these miserable passions, like She is a charming girl, and highly worthy of traitor Iscariot, betray their lord and master. the noblest love.
Thou Almighty Author of
and I send you a poem to read, till I call on goodness, and love! do thou give me the you this night, which will be about nine. I social heart that kindly tastes of every man's wish I could procure some potent spell, some cup !Is it a Uraught of joy ?-warm and fairy charm that would protect injury, or open my heart to share it with cordial, unenrestore to rest that bosom-chord, “treni- vying rejoicing! Is it the bitter potion of blingly alive all o'er," on which hangs your sorrow ?-melt my heart with sincerely sympeace of mind. I thought, vainly, I fear, pathetic woe! Above all, do thou give me thought that the devotion of lore--lore the manly mind that resolutely exemplifies, strong as even you can feel—love guarded, in life and manners, those sentiments which invulnerably guarded, by all the purity of I would wish to be thought to possess ! virtue, and all the pride of honour; I thought The friend of my soul-there, may I never such a love would make you happy--will I deviate from the firmest fidelity and most be mistaken? I can no more for hurry * active kindness! Clarinda, the dear object
of my fondest love; there may the most sacred, inviolate honour, the most faithful
kindliug constancy, ever watch and animate .
my every thought and imagination!
Did you ever meet with the following TO THE SAME.
lines spoken of Religion, your darling topic? Sunday Morning, February 3rd, 1788.
!“ 'Tis this, my friend, that streaks our mornI HAVE just been before the throne of my ing bright! God, Clarinda ; according to my association / 'Tis this that gilds the horrors of our night;
When wealth forsakes us, and when friends temper on whenever she was in ill-humour. are few,
[pursue ; One time I conjectured that, as Fortune is When friends are faithless, or when foes the most capricious jade ever known, she 'Tis this that wards the blow, or stills the may have taken, not a fit of remorse, but a smart,
paroxysm of whim, to raise the poor devil Disarms affliction, or repels its dart :
out of the mire, where he had so often and Within the breast bids purest rapture rise, so conveniently served her as a stepping Bids smiling Conscience spread her cloud- stone, and given him the most glorious less skies."
boon she ever had in her gift merely
for the I met with these verses very early in life, this fool head and his fool heart will
sake, to how and was so delighted with them that I have bear it. At other times I was vain enough them by me, copied at school.
to think that Nature, who has a great deal Good night and sound rest, my dearest
to say with Fortune, had given the coquetClarinda!
tish goddess some such hint as, Here is a paragon of female excellence, whose equal, in all my former compositions, I never was lucky enough to hit on, and despair of ever doing so again ; you have cast lier rather in
the shades of life; there is a certain poet of TO THE SAME.
niy making; among your frolics it would I was on the way, my Love, to meet you, not be amiss to attach him to this master(I never do things by halves) when I got piece of my hand, to give her that immortality your card. M
goes out of town to- among mankind which no woman of any inorrow morning to see a brother of his who age ever more deserved, and which few is newly arrived from
I am deter- rhymsters of this age are better able to mined that he and I shall call ou you to coufer.” gether; so, look you, lest I should never see
Evening, 9 o'clock. to-morrow, we will call on you to-night! and you may put off tea till about letter--pretty hearty after a bowl, which has
I AM here, absolutely unfit to finish my seven; at which time, in the Galloway phrase, *an the beast be to the fore, an the branks been constantly plied since dinner till this bide hale, expect the humblest of your humble the musician, and he has set it (62) finely.
I have been with Mr. Schetki, servants, and his dearest friend,
I have no distinct ideas of anything, staying only half an hour, ‘for ought we ken.' I could suffer the lash of inisery eleren
but that I have drunk your health twice montlıs in the year, were the twelfth to be to-night, and that you are all my soul composed of hours like yesternight. You holds dear in this world.
SYLVANDER. are the soul of my enjoyment: all else is of the stuff and stocks of stones.
TO THE SAME.
TO THE SAME.
Saturday Morning, February 9th, 1788. Thursday Morning, February 7th, 1783.
TIERE is no time, my Clarinda, when
the conscious thrilling chords of Love and “Unlavish Wisdom never works in vain."
Friendship give such delight as in the
penI have been tasking my reason, Clarinda, sive hours of what our favourite, Thomson, why a woman who for native genius, poig- calls “Philosophic Melancholy.” The sportive pant wit, strength of mind, generous sin- insects who bask in the sunshine of prospecerity of soul, and the sweetest female rity; or the worms that luxuriant crawl tenderness, is without a peer, and whose amid their ample wealth of earth-they need personal charms have few, very, very few no Clarinda: they would despise Sylvander parallels among her sex; why, or how she -if they durst. The family of Misfortune, chould fall to the blessed lot of a poor a numerous group of brothers and sisters : harum scarum poet, whom Fortune had they need a resting-place to their souls : kept for her particular use, to wreak her | unnoticed, often condemned by the world;
in some degree, perhaps, condemned by What trifling silliness is the childish fond. themselves, they feel the full enjoyment of ness of the every-day children of the world! ardent love, delicate tender endearments, 'tis the unmeaning toying of the younglings mutual esteem, and mutual reliance.
of the fields and forests : but where SentiIn this light I have often admired religion. ment and Fancy unite their sweets, where In proportion as we are wrung with grief, or Taste and Delicacy refine; where Wit adds distracted with anxiety, the ideas of a com- the flavour, and Goodness gives strength passionate Deity, an Almighty Protector, are and spirit to all, what a delicious draught is doubly dear.
the bour of tender endearment!
-Beauty “'Tis this, my Friend, that streaks our
and Grace, in the arms of Truth and Honour, morning bright;
in all the luxury of mutual love. 'Tis this that gilds the horrors of our
Clarinda, have you ever seen the picture night."
realized ? Not in all its very richest colour
ing. I have been this morning taking a peep
Last night, Clarinda, but for one slight through, as Young finely says, “the dark
shade, was the glorious picture. postern of time long elaps'd ;”
and, you will easily guess, 'twas a rueful prospect.
Innocence What a tissue of thoughtlessness, weakness, Look'd gaily smiling on ; while rosy Pleasure and folly! My life reminded me of a Hid young Desire amid her flowery wreath, ruined temple ; what strength, what pro. And pour'd her cup luxuriant; mantling portion in some parts! what unsightly gaps, high, what prostrate ruins in others ! I kneeled The sparkling heavenly vintage, Love and down before the Father of mercies, and said,
Bliss ! “ Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and Clarinda, when a poet and poetess of in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be Nature's making--two of Nature's noblest called thy son!” I rose, eased and productions !—when they drink together of strengthened. I despise the superstition the same cup of Love and Bliss, attempt of a fanatic, but I love the religion of a not, ye coarser stuffs of human nature,
“The future,” said I to myself, “is profanely to measure enjoyment ye never still before me;" there let me
can know!-Good night, my dear Clarindal “On reason build resolve,
SYLVANDER. That column of true majesty in man!”
“I have difficulties many to encounter," said I; “but they are not absolutely insuperable: and where is firmness of mind shewn but in exertion ? mere declamation is
TO THE SAME. bombastic rant." Besides, wherever I am, or in whatever situation I may be
February, 1788. 'Tis nought to me:
MY EVER DEAREST CLARINDA. -- I Since God is ever present, ever felt,
make a numerous dinner party wait me In the void waste as in the city full;
while I read yours, and write this. Do not And where He vital breathes, there must be require that I should cease to love you, to joy!”
adore you in my soul-—'tis to me impossible;
-your peace and happiness are to me dearer Saturday Night-half-after Ten. than my soul; name the terms on which What luxury of bliss I was enjoying this you wish to see me, to correspond with time yester-night! My ever-dearest Cla- me, and you have them; I must love, rinda, you have stolen away my soul: but i pine, mourn, and adore in secret--this you have refined, you have exalted it: you you must not deny me; you will ever be have given it a stronger sense of virtue, and to mea stronger relish for piety.--Clarinda, first
“Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes. of your sex, if ever I am the veriest wretch Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my on earth to forget you; if ever your lovely heart!" image is effaced from my soul,
I have not patience to read the puritanic “May I be lost, no eye to weep my end; scrawl.-Vile sophistry!-Ye heavens! thou And find no earth that's base enough to God of nature! thou Redeemer of mankind! bury me!”
look down with approving eyes ou a
passion inspired by the purest flame, and short to make that lasting impression on guarded by truth, delicacy, and honour; but your heart I could wish. the half-inch soul of an unfeeling, cold-blooded
SYLVANDER. pitiful, presbyterian bigot cannot forgive any thing above his dungeon bosom and foggy head.
Farewell; I'll be with you to-morrow evening; and be at rest in your mind ;-1
TO THE SAME. will be yours in the way you think most to
“I AM distressed for thee, my brother your happiness! love, and will love you, and will with joyous Jonathan!” I have suffered, Clarinda, from confidence approach the throne of the Al- your letter. My soul was in arms at the mighty Judge of men, with your dear idea. sad perusal; I dreaded that I had acted and will despise the scum of sentiment, and wrong. If I have robbed you of a friend, and will despise the scum of sentiment, and God forgive me! But, Clarinda, be comthe mist of sophistry.
forted : let us raise the tone of our feelings SYLVANDER.
a little higher and bolder. A fellow-creature who leaves us, who spurns us without just cause, though once our bosom friend--up with a little honest pride-let him go! How shall I comfort you, who am the cause of the
injury? Can I wish that I had never seen TO THE SAME.
1? that we had never met? No! I never Tuesday Evening, Feb. 12th, 1783. will
. But have I thrown you friendless ?
there is almost distraction in that thought. THAT you have faults, my Clarinda, I never doubted; but I knew not where they have I sinned; through Thy grace I will en
Father of mercies ! against Thee often existed, and Saturday night made me more in the dark tha? ever. O Clarinda, why will deavour to do so no more! She who, Thou you wound my soul, by hinting that last knowest, is dearer to me than myself, pour night must have lessened my opinion of Thou the balm of peace into her past wounds, , you? True, I was“ behind the scenes with
and hedge her about with Thy peculiar care, you ;" but what did I see? A bosom glow- all her future days and mights! Strengthen ing with honour and benevolence : a mind her tender noble mind, firmly to suffer, and
Make me worthy ennobled by genius, informed and reined by magnanimously to bear ! education and reflection, and exalted by na
of that friendship she honours me with. tive religion, genuine as in the climes of May my attachment to her be pure as devo
0 heaven ; a heart formed for all the glorious tion, and lasting as immortal life!
Be to her at meltings of friendship, love and pity. These Almighty Goodness, hear me! I saw.-I saw the noblest immortal soul all times, particularly in the hour of distress creation ever showed me,
or trial, a Friend and Comforter, a Guide I looked long, my dear Clarinda, for your
and Guard. letter; and am vexed that you are complain- “How are Thy servants blest, O Lord, ing. I have not caught you so far wrong as
How sure is their defence! in your idea, that the commerce you have Eternal wisdom is their guide, with one friend hurts you, if you cannot tell Their help, Omnipotence!” every tittle of it to another. Why have you 80 injurious a suspicion of a good God, done you! Tonight I shall be with you;
Forgive me, Clarinda, the injury I have Clarinda, as to think that Friendship and
as indeed I shall be ill at ease till I see you. Love, on the sacred inviolate principles of
SYLVANDER. Truth, Honour, and Religion, can be any thing else than an object of His divine approbation? I have mentioned, in some of my former
NO. CII. scrawls, Saturday evening next. Do allow me to wait on you that evening. Oh, my
TO THE SAME. angel! how soon must we part! and when
Two o'clock. can we meet again ! I looked forward on the horrid interval with tearful eyes! What I JUST now received your first letter of have I lost hy not knowing you sooner! I yesterday, by the careless negligence of the fear, I foar my acquaintance with you is too pevny-post. Clarinda, matters are grown